DOWN TO EARTH

Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa

Committee on the Geographic Foundation for Agenda 21

Committee on Geography

Mapping Science Committee

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa DOWN TO EARTH Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa Committee on the Geographic Foundation for Agenda 21 Committee on Geography Mapping Science Committee Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was jointly sponsored by the Environmental Systems Research Institute, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Geological Survey. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project. International Standard Book Number: 0-309-08478-4 Library of Congress Control Number: 2002110505 Front cover: Left—a GeoCover-Ortho image of Mount Kilimanjaro originally obtained at 30 × 30 m spatial resolution. It has a positional accuracy of better than 50 m (root mean square error). Landsat TM bands 7,4,2 (mid-infrared, near-infrared, and green) are displayed (courtesy of Earth Satellite Corporation). Each color or shade is unique and depends on the vegetation type, health, and growth stage. The bright greens are dense vegetation. The purples and pinks are sparse to no vegetation. The bottom third center of the image along Mount Kilimanjaro’s lower slopes contains areas of clear cuts (in pinks) surrounded by uncut verdant forest (bright greens). The top of the mountain is snow-covered (blue) and the white areas are clouds. Upper Right—artist’s rendition of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission 60-m (200-ft) mast being deployed from the space shuttle Endeavor (courtesy NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Radar images are collected from the end of the mast and from the shuttle payload bay. Lower Right—paper maps used in decision support in Namibia (courtesy of Jo Tagg, Namibia Nature Foundation). Cover designed by Van Nguyen Copies of this report are available from: The National Academies Press 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20055 Lockbox 285 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa COMMITTEE ON THE GEOGRAPHIC FOUNDATION FOR AGENDA 21 JOHN R. JENSEN, Chair, University of South Carolina, Columbia KWESI BOTCHWEY, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts ELLEN BRENNAN-GALVIN, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C. CHRISTIAN J. JOHANNSEN, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana CALESTOUS JUMA, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts AKINLAWON L. MABOGUNJE, Development Policy Center, Ibadan, Nigeria ROBERTA BALSTAD MILLER, Columbia University, Palisades, New York KEVIN P. PRICE, University of Kansas, Lawrence PRISCILLA A. C. REINING (Retired), International Office of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C. DAVID L. SKOLE, Michigan State University, East Lansing ANDREW STANCIOFF, Stone Environmental, Inc., Washington, D.C. D. R. FRASER TAYLOR, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada NRC Staff ANTHONY R. de SOUZA, Director, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources PAUL M. CUTLER, Study Director LISA M. VANDEMARK, Study Director KRISTEN L. KRAPF, Program Officer EILEEN M. McTAGUE, Research Assistant TERESIA K. WILMORE, Project Assistant

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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa COMMITTEE ON GEOGRAPHY BILLIE L. TURNER II, Chair, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts BERNARD O. BAUER, University of Southern California, Los Angeles RUTH S. DEFRIES, University of Maryland, College Park ROGER M. DOWNS, Pennsylvania State University, University Park MICHAEL F. GOODCHILD, University of California, Santa Barbara SUSAN HANSON, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts SARA L. MCLAFFERTY, University of Illinois, Urbana ELLEN S. MOSLEY-THOMPSON, The Ohio State University, Columbus ERIC S. SHEPPARD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis NRC Staff KRISTEN L. KRAPF, Program Officer MONICA R. LIPSCOMB, Research Assistant VERNA J. BOWEN, Administrative Associate

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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa MAPPING SCIENCE COMMITTEE DAVID J. COWEN, Chair, University of South Carolina, Columbia ANNETTE J. KRYGIEL, Vice-Chair, Independent Consultant, Integro, Great Falls, Virginia ERIC A. ANDERSON, City of Des Moines, Iowa WILLIAM J. CRAIG, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MARK MONMONIER, Syracuse University, New York JOEL MORRISON, Ohio State University, Columbus SHERYL G. OLIVER, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Springfield HARLAN J. ONSRUD, University of Maine, Orono C. STEPHEN SMYTH, MobileGIS, Ltd., Bellevue, Washington JAMES V. TARANIK, University of Nevada, Reno REX W. TRACY, BAE Systems, San Diego, California A. KEITH TURNER, Colorado School of Mines, Golden NRC Staff PAUL M. CUTLER, Program Officer RADHIKA S. CHARI, Senior Project Assistant

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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES RAYMOND JEANLOZ, Chair, University of California, Berkeley JILL BANFIELD, University of California, Berkeley STEVEN R. BOHLEN, Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Washington, D.C. VICKI J. COWART, Colorado Geological Survey, Denver DAVID L. DILCHER, University of Florida, Gainesville ADAM M. DZIEWONSKI, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts WILLIAM L. GRAF, University of South Carolina, Columbia RHEA GRAHAM, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, Albuquerque GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville DIANNE R. NIELSON, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Salt Lake City MARK SCHAEFER, NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia BILLIE L. TURNER II, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts THOMAS J. WILBANKS, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee NRC Staff ANTHONY R. de SOUZA, Director TAMARA L. DICKINSON, Senior Program Officer DAVID A. FEARY, Senior Program Officer ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer PAUL M. CUTLER, Program Officer KRISTEN L. KRAPF, Program Officer KERI H. MOORE, Program Officer LISA M. VANDEMARK, Program Officer YVONNE P. FORSBERGH, Research Assistant MONICA R. LIPSCOMB, Research Assistant EILEEN M. McTAGUE, Research Assistant JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative Associate VERNA J. BOWEN, Administrative Associate RADHIKA S. CHARI, Senior Project Assistant KAREN L. IMHOF, Senior Project Assistant SHANNON L. RUDDY, Senior Project Assistant TERESIA K. WILMORE, Project Assistant WINFIELD SWANSON, Editorial Consultant

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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Dr. André Bassolé Environmental Information Systems in sub-Saharan Africa (EIS-AFRICA) Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Dr. Ruth S. Defries University of Maryland College Park Dr. Paul V. Desanker University of Virginia Charlottesville Dr. Michael F. Goodchild University of California Santa Barbara Dr. James Guseh North Carolina Central University Durham Dr. Barry N. Haack George Mason University Fairfax, Virginia Dr. David Kaplan Department of Trade and Industry Cape Town, South Africa Dr. Pamela A. Matson Stanford University California Dr. John Mugabe African Centre for Technology Studies Nairobi, Kenya Dr. Marilyn Silberfein Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Thomas J. Wilbanks, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Dr. Brian J. L. Berry, University of Texas. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa Preface On July 9, 2001, Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky sent a letter to Dr. Bruce Alberts, president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, requesting a study as a contribution to the U.S. Department of State’s “Geographic Information for Sustainable Development” Alliance for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August 2002. Being held a decade after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, the main goals of the summit are to “reinvigorate the global commitments to and achieve a higher level of international solidarity and partnership in the promotion of sustainable development” (UN, 2001). The Geographic Information for Sustainable Development Alliance is an international collaboration and alliance whose objective is to apply a new generation of earth observation data and GIS-linked technologies to ongoing sustainable development problems in Africa. The alliance focuses on four case-study regions in sub-Saharan Africa. These are the Upper Niger basin, the Kenya-Tanzania coast, the African Great Lakes Region, and the Limpopo and Zambezi river basins. As a component of the Geographic Information for Sustainable Development Alliance, this study concentrates on sub-Saharan Africa and draws on experiences from activities in these case-study regions. Descriptions of ongoing activities in these areas are provided as examples of the application of geographic information to sustainable development in Africa. Given the embryonic state of some activities in the case-study regions and the available time and resources, the committee chose not to critically analyze these efforts. Instead the committee (Appendix A) drew on literature and testimony from public, private, and non-profit organizations working with geographic information and applications in Africa (Appendix B) and its own experience and judgment to determine broad lessons learned. Committee and staff members also participated in international conferences and meetings of geographic information practitioners in Bamako, Mali; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Nairobi, Kenya; Niamey, Niger; and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In a symposium at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1999 Professor John E. Estes first noted the need for a study of this type. He suggested compiling a resource high-lighting the value of geographic data and tools for addressing issues of sustainable development. Professor Estes stated, “We cannot have sustainable economic development and improved environmental quality without understanding how our global resource base is changing through time.” In addition to the U.S. Department of State the study received support from the Environmental Systems Research Institute, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Geological Survey. John R. Jensen, Chair REFERENCE UN (United Nations). 2001. SADC Progress Report on the Implementation of Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development: A Report to the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. Available at <http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/web_pages/sadc_prepcom_progress_report.pdf>. Accessed August 1, 2002.

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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   11     Purpose of the Report,   11     Geographic Data and Sustainable Development,   14     Structure of the Report,   15     References,   17 2   AGENDA 21 IMPLEMENTATION: PROGRESS, CHALLENGES, AND THE ROLE OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION   18     Introduction,   18     Global Progress with Implementation of Agenda 21,   18     Implementing Agenda 21 in Africa,   21     The Role of Geographic Information in Meeting Agenda 21 Objectives,   23     An Approach to Evaluating the Role of Geographic Information in Sustainable Development Applications,   25     Summary,   27     References,   27 3   GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION ACTIVITIES IN AFRICA   29     Introduction,   29     Organizations with Continent-Wide Activities,   29     Geographic Information Activities in Case-Study Regions,   31     Summary,   36     References,   36 4   FACILITATING THE USE OF GEOGRAPHIC DATA: SPATIAL DATA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURES   37     Introduction,   37     Spatial Data Infrastructures,   37     Telecommunications Infrastructure in Africa,   43     Summary,   50     References,   50 5   GEOGRAPHIC DATA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT I: FRAMEWORK DATA   52     Introduction,   52

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Down to Earth: Geographic Information for Sustainable Development in Africa     Historical Legacy Data as a Baseline for Documenting Change,   52     Framework Foundation Geographic Data from Modern Sources,   54     Framework Thematic Geographic Data,   66     Summary,   69     References,   69     Annex 5,   71 6   GEOGRAPHIC DATA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT II: OTHER THEMATIC DATA   79     Introduction,   79     Land Cover and Land Use,   79     The Condition of Vegetation and Hydrologic Resources,   90     Data for Managing Human Health,   94     Coordination Among Data Producers and Users,   95     Summary,   96     References,   97     Annex 6,   99 7   GIS-BASED DECISION-SUPPORT SYSTEMS IN AFRICA   104     Introduction,   104     Decision-Making and Geographic Information,   105     Examples of Decision-Support Systems in Africa,   108     Impediments to Implementing Spatial Decision-Support Systems in Africa,   110     Opportunities for Enhancing Decision Support in Africa,   111     Summary,   113     References,   113 8   BUILDING CAPACITY TO APPLY GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA   114     Introduction,   114     Human Capacity,   115     Organizational Capacity,   116     Societal Capacity,   121     Summary,   126     References,   126 9   LESSONS LEARNED AND RECOMMENDATIONS   128     Introduction,   128     Lessons Learned,   128     Conclusions and Recommendations,   130     Summary,   134     References,   135     APPENDIXES         A Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   139     B Oral and Written Contributors   142     C FGDC Statement   146     D Acronyms   148     E Glossary   153